|Decades:||1980s 1990s 2000s|
3 February 1945, Sioux Falls, Dakota, USA. Stewart played trumpet for eight years, then switched to tuba in his second year at the Philadelphia College of Performing Arts. He learned to play in dixieland bands (where the tuba occupies the role taken in later jazz by the string bass), including a residency at Your Fathers Moustache. After graduating with a teaching degree in 1968 he relocated to New York, where he taught and led a junior high school band. He had been jamming with tuba-player Howard Johnson for years; now he joined his tuba ensemble Substructure and was also a founder member of Gravity. In 1971 he worked with the Collective Black Artists Ensemble and in the early 70s with a variety of artists, including Freddie Hubbard and Taj Mahal.
He formed a trio with Arthur Blythe and cellist Abdul Wadud, showing that the tuba could operate at the forefront of post-free explorations of tradition, particularly gripping as he...